Final Fantasy IX: Evil Forest

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Marshall is a seasoned writer and gaming enthusiast based in Tokyo. He's a prolific wordsmith with hundreds of articles featured on top-tier sites like Business Insider, How-To Geek, PCWorld, and Zapier. His writing has reached a massive audience with over 70 million readers!

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.
Evil Forest
Items: Phoenix Down, Wrist, Rubber Helm, Potion, Bronze Gloves, Ether (x3), Leather Hat
Gil: 116G
Key Items: Blank’s Medicine, Continental Map, Moogle Flute
ATE: The Forest Keeper, Time to Escape, Girl Who Was Left Behind, My Little Baby, Orchestra in the Forest, “Do as I Say, Not as I Do”, “Teach me, Mogster! Lesson 1”
Enemies: Fang, Goblin, Dendrobium, Plant Spider
Bosses: Prison Cage, Prison Cage, Baku, Plant Brain

Table Of Contents

    The Wreckage

    When you regain control, you’ll be introduced to the Active Time Event (ATE) system by Mosco the Moogle. These let you see events that are happening elsewhere at the exact same time.

    Some ATEs are required, while most are optional. We recommend you watch every ATE that you’re able so that you can see what’s going on in other parts of the game.

    There’s also a very rare ATE that’s available later on. We’ll cover how to view this even further in the guide.

    Watch The Forest Keeper event to see what’s going on with Vivi and Garnet. Save your game if you want and then grab the Phoenix Down in the stack of recovered goods.

    Phoenix Down at Prima Vista Crash Site FFIX.

    The Dangerous Forest

    Head south to the next screen, and then follow the path until you find Vivi, Steiner, and Garnet. The Prison Cage has captured the Princess. Let’s take it on!

    Prison Cage captures Garnet in Evil Forest FFIX.

    Boss: Prison Cage

    Level: 2
    HP: 513
    MP: 1,083
    Gil: –
    Exp: –
    AP: –
    Steal: –
    Drops: –


    • Left Stem: Deals physical damage to Zidane
    • Right Stem: Deals physical damage to Steiner
    • Absorb: Drains HP from Garnet, heals self

    This fight is pretty easy, but Vivi is sitting this one out so it’s just Zidane and Steiner. This boss fight introduces the Trance mechanic, which is a surge of emotion that increases your strength and brings out new abilities.

    Use Zidane’s Tidal Flame twice on Prison Cage to take it out. You can actually hurt Garnet in this battle, so be sure not to accidentally target her.

    You can just do regular attacks with Steiner. If Garnet’s HP gets low you can use him to toss her a Potion, but that shouldn’t be an issue.

    Immediately after the fight, the Prison Cage will run away with the Princess, and another Prison Cage will swoop down and grab Vivi. To war!

    Prison Cage captures Vivi in Evil Forest FFIX.

    Boss: Prison Cage

    Level: 2
    HP: 533
    MP: 1,186
    Gil: 436G
    Exp: –
    AP: 3
    Steal: Leather Wrist, Broadsword
    Drops: Eye Drops, Goblin Card

    Weak: Fire

    • Left Stem: Deals physical damage to Zidane
    • Right Stem: Deals physical damage to Steiner
    • Absorb: Drains HP from Vivi, heals self

    This time, it’s Vivi that’s trapped. However, he’s not going to sit around helplessly. Vivi will frequently cast Fire, dealing decent damage to the Prison Cage (especially since it’s weak against Fire).

    Use Zidane to steal the Leather Wrist and Broadsword, then just attack like crazy, using a Potion to heal as necessary.

    The Prison Cage will hit your team with a green mist as it dies. Zidane dodges and carries them back to the Prima Vista Crash Site.

    I Quit!

    Watch the scenes as they unfold. Once you regain control, grab the Bronze Gloves out of the chest near Baku.

    Bronze Gloves in Prima Vista Crash Site FFIX.

    Head downstairs and watch the Time to EscapeGirl Who Was Left Behind, and My Little Baby (which becomes available after you watch Time to Escape) ATEs.

    Grab the Wrist from the chest and then speak to Blank. Enter the room he came out of. Grab the Ether out of the chest and then take the 116 Gil from the top of the bunk bed.

    Speak to Vivi. After the conversation, leave the room and watch the flashbacks. You’ll need to decide what to do. Choose whichever option you want. Blank will enter the room and tell Zidane to talk to Baku about leaving the gang.

    Leave the room to the left and you’ll see Marcus standing guard. Grab the Ether from the chest to the south.

    Ether in Prima Vista Crash Site FFIX.

    Head downstairs and grab the Rubber Helm in the northern part of the room. Exit to the south and take the Leather Hat from the chest.

    Go back inside and enter the door to the right. You’ll find Baku waiting for you. He’s not happy and says that he’s going to bust Zidane up for breaking the rules. Grab the Potion before heading over to the cargo room. Get ready for battle!

    Baku Boss fight in Prima Vista Crash Site in the Evil Forest in FFIX.

    Boss: Baku

    Level: 2
    HP: 202
    MP: –
    Gil: –
    Exp: –
    AP: –
    Steal: Hi-Potion, Iron Sword
    Drops: –


    • YEOWWW!: Falls over, deals no damage
    • Gwahaha!: Deals physical damage to Zidane
    • Rrrragh!: Deals physical damage to Zidane
    • Bring it on!: Deals physical damage to Zidane

    This is another easy battle. Steal the items from Baku—especially the Iron Sword, as it’s very useful for Steiner. After that, just attack and heal with Potions.

    Once you beat Baku, you’re no longer a member of Tantalus.

    An Unexpected Alliance

    Now that you’re free, go upstairs and enter the room in which Steiner is being held. Speak to Steiner and he’ll hesitantly join your party. After the scene, head back into the room and grab the Ether from the chest.

    Head into the room where Vivi is resting and you’ll recruit him. You can head back to this room and rest if you need to recover some health but want to conserve your Potion stock.

    Equip Steiner with the Bronze Gloves and the Iron Sword that you stole from Baku. Equip the Silk Shirt and the Leather Wrist to Vivi. You may be tempted to equip those items on Zidane, but Vivi can learn Thunder from the Silk Shirt and Blizzard from the Leather Wrist.

    We’ll get some good equipment for Zidane soon.

    Start heading out and you’ll run into Blank again. He’ll give you Blank’s Medicine which will remove the seeds from the Princess later.

    Blank's Medicine Key Item in FFIX.

    He’ll also share a tip from the boss about how to set abilities: MenuAbilityEquip.

    Head outside and speak to Cinna. Now that you’re no longer in Tantalus, he has to charge you for items. Make sure you have a few Potions and Phoenix Downs in your inventory.

    Speak to Mosco and check Mognet. There’s a letter from Ruby to Zidane. Read it and then save your game. It’s time to go save the Princess. Enter the forest again.

    Head right to the next screen and then view the Orchestra in the Forest ATE. In the next area, you can go left to check out a river if you want. Otherwise, continue straight.

    Watch the mandatory Do as I Say, Not as I Do ATE, and then speak to the Moogle hiding in the stump. This is Monty. You should have a letter from Kupo to Monty, so hand it over. Afterward, check Mognet again and Monty will read a letter they just got from Stiltzkin!

    Monty the Moogle in Evil Forest FFIX.

    You can refresh your HP/MP from the spring here. Save and continue onward. Now’s a good time to start leveling up your party. Level 3 is a pretty good goal for now. You can always go back and use the spring to recover. Also, you can steal a Tent from Dendrobiums, so try to get a few of those.

    Keep following the path until you run into Garnet being held by the Plant Brain.

    Plant Brain boss fight in Evil Forest FFIX.

    Boss: Plant Brain

    Level: 7
    HP: 916
    MP: 1,431
    Gil: 468G
    Exp: –
    AP: 5
    Steal: Iron Helm, Eye Drops
    Drops: Phoenix Down

    Weak: Fire

    • Left Stem: Deals physical damage to Zidane
    • Right Stem: Deals physical damage to Steiner
    • Thunder: Thunder damage to one/all
    • Pollen: Physical damage and a chance of Darkness to all

    Steiner should use his Sword Magic attack, “Fire Sword,” until he runs out of MP. Have Vivi cast Fire every round.

    After you do a good bit of damage, Blank will show up. This is a good opportunity for you to use Steal with both Zidane and Blank to try to get that Iron Helm. Once you have the goods, attack.

    This fight shouldn’t be too difficult. Just don’t let your HP drop too low and remove the Darkness effect with Eye Drops.

    Once the Plant Brain is slain, something extraordinary begins to happen within the forest. The entire forest will begin to pursue Zidane and the others.

    Make your way out of the forest by following the only path you can take. You’ll occasionally have to fight Plant Spiders, but they’ll pose no threat.

    Go ahead and unequip Blank of everything. He’ll soon no longer be in the party, so you can keep that equipment.

    Watch the cutscene take place and then you’ll eventually be at a campsite–but not before Blank tosses Zidane the Continental Map.

    The Campsite

    Continue through the dialogue and Monty the Moogle will show up, giving Zidane the Moogle Flute.

    Moogle's Flute key item in FFIX.
    The Moogle Flute allows Zidane to summon a Moogle on the world map, where you can save or recover using a Tent. Press Square to use it. Take advantage of this!

    Watch the mandatory Teach me, Mogster! Lesson 1 ATE and go through the tutorials.

    Once you’re finished with the tutorials, it’s time to set out across the Gunitas Basin.